Google’s expanded text ads: how to deal with it?

October 11, 2016

During the Google Performance Summit, Google has officially announced that they will expand text ads and double the headlines. On July, the change was finally decided upon, and advertisers are warned that starting January 31, 2017, they will no longer be able to upload and create the standard text ads. That means everyone has more or less three months to change their game plan.

What has changed with the new ad format?

Expanded text ads are considered to be the new generation of text ads. They are mainly designed to cope up with the new mobile-first trend by giving more control over messaging and providing more information for the users to view.

Standard text ads usually contain 25 characters, two 35-character description lines, and a manually entered display URL.

In contrast, expanded text ads feature two headline fields with up to 30 characters each, an expanded description field with up to 80 characters, and a display URL that directly matches the final URL domain, so you no longer have to enter it manually.

Moreover, this new ad format has two optional path fields with up to 15 characters each. These optional path fields are part of the display URL and are placed after your website’s domain. Hence, you can have optional path fields “insurance” and “claim” if your final URL is

How to update your existing text ads?

Currently, AdWords is still supporting standard and expanded text ads, but once you create a new ad, it will be directed to the expanded text ads default.

Still, before January 2017 you need to edit all your existing text ads. You can do this by doing one of the following:

Open standard text ad for editing – Doing so will direct you to the expanded text ad by default. This method will, however, remove the original ad. To avoid this, just select Copy and Edit. 

Make bulk changes – You can do this by multi-selecting ads, pausing, enabling, and/or removing them from the Edit menu. You can make the changes within the Bulk upload spreadsheet.

Use AdWords editor – If you’re updating your PPC advertisement, you can use AdWords editor. 

How to use extended ad text to upgrade your PPC ads?

The ability to put more information in the text ads will give PPC advertisers a better chance in driving more qualified clicks to their site. In another perspective, it will help users judge advertiser’s site more clearly. Hence, optimizing Google expanded text ads is imperative. Here are some of the best practices for you:

1. Use the extra characters wisely.
If you had spent time working to perfect your current PPC ad, then the idea of expanding it may not sound so well. There’s always the doubt of degrading the quality of the existing text ad.
To save time, you can just combine the current description lines with a new and second headline. After all, this is exactly what Google did during their announcement. However, what you’re basically doing is adding more texts while saying the same thing. It does not make the ad more compelling. In other words, you’re just wasting the extra word count given to you. What you should do is supplement your current offer and include more valuable propositions.

2. Improve your headlines.
Headlines are what users see first. It’s only natural for an advertiser to spend more time crafting it. The message of the two headlines of your expanded ad text should get the attention of users directly.

3. Address users of all devices.
Since more of Google’s searches are now done through mobile devices, you need not limit yourself to desktop users. Expanded text ads have no preferred devices, so can create one that address desktop, mobile, and tablet users alike. While doing so, make sure that your call to action makes sense.

4. Use keywords in the path fields.
Advertisers no longer need to specify their domain when creating a new ad. This will save a lot of work for the SEMs. What they can do instead is fill in the two path fields. In doing so, you might want to use these in reassuring users that your PPC ad will take them exactly to the landing page they’re searching for.


The new type of ad is setting new opportunities for PPC advertisers whose biggest challenge is to put their value in limited text ad space. The added text characters will serve as a ground for making more creative ads. There is a high chance that extended adwords will lead business PPCs to better performance results.

Categories: Digital Marketing, SEM
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